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Pitso's Al Ahly Maintain Perfect Start In EPL

Pitso Mosimane's Al Ahly maintained their perfect start to the Egyptian Premier League season after edging Al Mokawloon 1-0 on Friday evening.

Mosimane named the same side that demolished Zamalek before the international break in a Cairo derby in an eight-goal thriller, as Percy Tau made his fourth straight start.

Tau was one of the Al Ahly players who were testing shot-stopper Mahmoud Abou El Saoud in the opening exchanges, as the game was open but El Saoud was standing firm.

The Red Devils had a scare in the 14th minute after Farouck Kabone found the back of the net for the visitors following a through ball but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Al Ahly lost their attacking momentum towards the half-hour mark but regained it in the tail end of the first stanza and Amr El Soleya had a chance to break the deadlock for the hosts on the stroke of half-time with a header inside the box that was smothered by El Saoud and the first stanza ended without goals.

Al Mokawloon almost had a dream start in the second stanza after they were initially awarded a penalty five minutes after the break, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reversed the on-field decision.

The Red Devils eventually broke the deadlock in the 67th minute after Hamdi Fathi powered home a close-range header from Ali Maaloul's cross following a corner situation.

Mosimane made a tactical change in the last 14 minutes, as he brought on Hussein El Shahat in place of Tau to crowd the midfield.

El Shahat made an immediate impact and came close to doubling the lead for Al Ahly eight minutes before time with a strike from a tight angle that was saved by El Saoud.

Goal-scorer Fathi was sent off for the Red Devils deep in stoppage time after the VAR upgraded his yellow card to red, but the hosts did enough to hold on to their fourth victory in as many matches and went two points clear at the top of the log.

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